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Friends Honor Disc Jockey, Offer Reward for His Killer

November 09, 1988|JOHN SPANO | Times Staff Writer

The friends of Lee Selwyn came out Tuesday night to pay tribute to the popular young disc jockey, to remember his contributions to local music, and to help find the man who killed him.

Selwyn, 26, died Oct. 8, just days after he had achieved his goal of opening a music club he could call his own. Police said that while Selwyn rode his motorcycle, he was stalked by an unknown man driving a pickup truck and run down from behind on a Wilshire District street.

Police have no suspects.

While some friends have been trying to help find the assailant, others staged a concert tribute Tuesday night at the Palace in Hollywood to raise money for the reward fund.

Friends have offered a $10,000 reward for information. They hope at least to double that amount once the books on the concert are closed.

"He was a very sweet, a very wonderful man," said pop musician Julian Lennon, who donated his services at the sold-out concert.

Bands Perform

"He was a very nice guy," added rock star Billy Idol who, with Lennon and five local bands, tuned up Tuesday afternoon for the evening's benefit performance.

Idol said he met Selwyn a year ago. They shared a common bond of music and a fascination with motorcycles, riding for fun in groups that often included celebrities.

Selwyn and three friends, all on motorcycles, had left a Hollywood bar about 2 a.m., when a man in a red Ford Bronco pickup swerved into their lane and stopped at a red light in front of them. The driver yelled at one of Selwyn's companions and spat on him. The incident escalated when the friend kicked the truck door and broke the driver's window.

The assailant then chased and lost three of the bikers, then spotted Selwyn, who had been lagging behind, and ran him down.

"This is a murder investigation," Los Angeles Police Lt. Richard Iddings said. "For some reason, some people, once they get behind the wheel of a car, they can do funny things."

One friend, a drummer who said his only name is Beachy, was with Selwyn the night he died. He has helped distribute wanted posters with a composite sketch of the assailant. He said he has called dozens of auto body shops in an attempt to find the driver, and has surveyed dozens of auto parts distributors, trying to find buyers of replacement windows for Broncos.

Beachy was among the 700 people who attended Selwyn's funeral last month. The mourners included an honor guard for the hearse of 150 motorcycling friends.

"If you had known him, you would understand," the drummer said. "He was one of those people who was always positive. He was never angry. He never judged people by appearances. He was just a lot of fun to be around."

Selwyn, who attended Van Nuys High School, began playing records when he was 15, according to his mother, Linda Caciola, of Venice, with whom he lived.

He spun records at some of Los Angeles' trendiest nightclubs--including Durango, Angel City, and Le Hot Club.

Finally, Selwyn had his own club. He and several associates made arrangements to rent the Triple X nightclub on Wednesday nights. The first show was Oct. 5 and Selwyn, of course, spun the tunes.

"There was big, big excitement," recalled business partner Robert Kalafut. "It was our baby. It worked out great. Everything went good."

But just a few days later, Selwyn was dead.

Police have asked that anyone with information call Wilshire Division detectives at 485-4033.

Selwyn's friends say they will keep up their efforts to find the killer.

"They've got to catch a guy like that who might be doing it to somebody else," Idol said.

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